Sunday, August 2, 2009

If I were an Inca...

I'd be a mailman.

I recently discovered a little nugget of information that I thought was pretty cool and wanted to share. It is believed that the Incas had no form of written language; however, they had a very sophisticated system for delivering messages, which enabled them to send messages across the mountainous empire at a rate of 150 miles per day! Chasquis were messengers, trained from a very young age to run long distances through the 4,500 mile long expanse of the Andes Mountains, whose peaks reach upward of 20,000 feet. It was a sort of relay where the message was passed from one messenger to another, who would have to memorize the message, and run to the next exchange point. How cool would that job be?! As long as you had a good memory. One account I read mentioned that the penalty for an incorrect message relay was execution. One minor drawback, but can you imagine running through this for a living?
Along the Inca Trail
Runners' stopping points

I definitely have to plan a vacation here someday!

4 comments:

The Fifes said...

that's a fun idea. And amen about visiting there-- i've heard it's beautiful!

wmd said...

That is awesome.... except for the execution part.

Just more proof that man was created to run, and that we have been running since the beginning.

Vava said...

I wonder how long or complex those message were! The schoolyard version of this makes it through 5 kids before the message is garbled and a shell of its former self. On my next run I will try and memorize a few sentences and see if I can remember them upon returning...

Atrusni said...

LOL!!, I like to run, but I do not know if I would like to run for a job, specially to know that I may get killed by doing it!!

Great pictures, I would also love to be there, have heard some wonderful things about that place!!. The only thing is that it is quite difficult to get there, to Machu Pichu, but it would be interesting to pay a visit to Peru.

Thanks for posting on the blog, I am back to blogging now, I guess I kind of realized that my iMac might not get back!

web.me.com/amaurydeleon